On flexibility and freedom.
As an semi-idealistic young man I feel almost obliged to feel free. Freedom is a state of mind, a necessity, a never-ending hunger of self-actualization. Freedom is in the constitutional law, even. I think most of us consider freedom to be able to do what you want to do at any given time at any given place. Freedom is sleeping in on a Monday morning. Freedom is shouting out loud in a public place. Freedom is wearing piercings as a part of your look.
So, does freedom make us happy?
It's a fairly clichéd thought that freedom comes from restriction - in order to feel free, you must have or know some boundaries. I suppose most people derive their freedom from breaking these boundaries. Doing something moderately socially inacceptable - sleeping when you 'should' be awake, shouting when you should be quiet, not looking like everyone else. Breaking the boundary with a crow bar gives you a feeling of triumph, of success, and you feel free. You don't necessarily feel happy, though.
By spending a year doing 'whatever' I wanted to do where I wanted to be at the time I wanted, I ended up traveling, working a little, traveling some more. The ideal of a human life? To be able to see the world not having to work that much, not having to worry about the society, peer pressure or bed times? I realized that if anything it doesn't make me happy.
My happiness comes from eating two eggs for breakfast every morning, reading an article about finance on the newspaper, biking to listen to a lecture, eating lunch, going back home, exercising, going to bed at a set time. Jeepers! Am I a boring guy or what! Routine is happiness, admit it or not. You become happy because of the things you are used to, the things that force you to accomplish something, the things that limit your daily schedules. You become happy because of the normal way of your life.
A disappointing, discouraging thought? Yes. That's why we need freedom. The idea, the hope that someday I might break out from my daily routines and be even happier. It's not freedom that makes us happy, it's thinking about it.